Art works of ANU Class of 2018 go on display

Art works of ANU Class of 2018 go on display

The Australian National University (ANU) School of Art and Design has been transformed from studio to gallery to show case the final art works of 110 graduating students from the Class of 2018.

The School of Art and Design (SOA&D) annual graduating exhibition runs for eight days from tonight.

Amongst this year’s works are a hands-on drawing machine made from a bicycle fork and bamboo, giant images of the male nude hung on silk and a series of stunning photographic portraits of elderly women with their extraordinary life stories captured on a mobile phone mounted next to them that people can listen to. 

The exhibition features art works from each of SOA&D’s disciplines including ceramics, furniture, glass, gold and silver smithing, painting, photography, animation and video printmedia and drawing, sculpture and textiles and art history and art theory.

Head of School, Professor Denise Ferris said the exhibition is a highlight on Canberra’s cultural calendar.

“Much of the art and design work you will see is socially engaged and draws awareness to social issues and the stories of others including intergenerational stories and our shared narratives with Indigenous people.

“They include stories of ageing, the politics of race, identity, the body and domestic labour, expressed in material form. The exhibition, as always, exudes a sense of real materials as well as the technology of the moving image,” said Associate Professor Ferris.

Beverly Smith’s piece “Ochre Pans” depicts the actual ochre pans near Brewarrina rendered with pigments taken from the banks of the Bogan River. Beverly, a Masters student in her 60s whose Aboriginality was kept from her until she was in her late 20s, infuses all her artworks with places of significance to her heritage.  

“I got permission from the Elders to use the pigment from the pans; there’s a grey from the river bed, then a yellow, then a pink as you go up the bank. I wasn’t allowed to use the pigments on my face, but I was given permission to use them in my art.

“I wanted to keep the texture in there so I laid the pigment down on the paper outside and left there for days to dry. During the day, the wind blew bits of stick and grit onto the work and it’s a part of what you’d see in the river bed,” said Beverly.

Honours student David Lindesay’s dramatically lit black and white photographs of male nudes were his exploration of why the ideal of the perfect, muscled male body persist today.

“I posed my models on classical Greek and Roman sculptures for the photographs and then to subvert that idea of the hard, chiselled body, I reproduced the images onto soft silk banners that waft and move in the breeze to soften the image,” David said.

Tanya McArthur mixes her ceramic vases, pots, bowls, plates and dishes with cut and etched glass pieces.

“I find I’m always torn between the functional and the decorative,” Tanya said.

“I work with clay thrown on the pottery wheel and I can’t wait to get a couple of kilns delivered to our property just near Sutton. Then I can work from home and hopefully successfully combine my art as my work,” she said.

The works of the Honours and Masters students are in the main gallery, with the rest of the students’ works on display in the School’s 12 studios.

Opening night is 6-8pm, Friday 23 November and the exhibition runs from Saturday 24 November to Sunday 2 December from 10.30am to 5.00 pm daily. 

The SOA&D also houses the Centre for Art History and Art Theory, graduating art historians and curators.


WHO: Professor Denise Ferris, Head of SOAD and graduating students David Lindesay, Tanya McArthur, Ellen Sleeman-Taylor and Isabelle Mackay-Sim available for interviews during the preview. 

WHAT: Media Preview of Graduating Exhibition 2018.

WHERE: ANU School of Art and Design. Ellery Crescent, Acton.

WHEN: 10.00am – 12.00pm Friday 23 November, 2018

For media assistance, contact the ANU media hotline on 02 6125 7979.

About The Australian National University

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Our focus on research as an asset, and an approach to education, ensures our graduates are in demand the world-over for their abilities to understand, and apply vision and creativity to addressing complex contemporary challenges.

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